HomeLatest NewsFederal NewsCMS Approves HCPCS Codes for Chaplains

CMS Approves HCPCS Codes for Chaplains

According to a regulatory alert released by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), CMS has approved Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) to be used for Level II codes for chaplains. They are:

  • HCPCS Level II code Q9001: Assessment by chaplain services
  • HCPCS Level II code Q9002: Counseling, individual by chaplain services
  • HCPCS Level II code Q9003: Counseling, group, by chaplain services

The Healthcare Chaplaincy Network and NHPCO have been working together for some time to get these codes established. They are consistent with chaplain codes used in the VA.  The codes allow for chaplain visits to be recorded on the claim form. Having these codes will now allow for visits to be tracked and chaplaincy included in quality measures like NQF#3645- Hospice Visits in the Last Days of Life (HVLDL).

One reason CMS previously denied the codes is there was no claims base need for the codes, until now. Ascension, a large non-profit Catholic health system, is also an insurer through Medicare Advantage and is providing Spiritual Care using chaplain services as a primarily health related optional supplemental benefit that has been recently approved by CMS. Ascension chaplains will now need to submit claims forms for their care provided to the beneficiaries.

Perhaps this will open the door for additional insurers to consider covering the cost of chaplains and also an opportunity for your agency to track the quality work done by healthcare chaplains.


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